Veganism has skyrocketed in recent years, with more people than ever before choosing to make the switch to a plant-based diet. Whether for health, religious or just taste reasons, veganism has grown in a movement that players in the foodservice industry just can’t ignore, says a recent report published by Mintel.
The research firm has also highlighted some of the vegan trends that emerged in 2019. First off, Millennials are the driving force behind the increasing adoption of plant-based diets including flexitarianism. These consumers are more likely to eat more vegetables and less meat, but also to experiment more with exotic dishes from new cuisines.
Sustainability and healthfulness are two other factors that are greatly impacting eating habits in 2019. Customers are becoming more food-conscious, hence it is important for operators to offer food items made with wholesome ingredients that are cooked and served in a way that is appealing to this particular group.
Over the last few years, foodservice operators have responded to this rising trend with some interesting innovations in the vegan category. For example, London-based pizza chain Pizza Go-Go teamed up with Quorn, a producer of meat-free frozen foods, for a new vegetarian pizza range. According to the report, a vegan option with plant-based cheese is expected to follow soon.
Traditional meat-center operators have also jumped at the opportunity to offer plant-based alternatives. For example, gourmet burger chain Dirty Bones has launched The Vegan Mac Daddy in summer 2018 in London.
Moreover, supermarkets have adapted their portfolios to cater to the demands of customers seeking vegan options. Notably, Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen range offers a line-up of flavor-forward vegan propositions. M&S also recently introduced its Plant Kitchen which includes dairy and meat-free comfort foods.
Finally, the report highlights some interesting up-and-coming meat alternatives like seitan, an ingredient that has a taste very akin to meat and can be used in fried foods like chips and chicken.